Thursday, March 29, 2007

builders on the block / uk

quite a different pictute than in the us. bigger market share, better stock performance etc.but things can change quickly... i think we will see soemthing similar in the us after the dust has settled (in a decade or so.......)

ein etwas anderes bild als in den usa. größere marktanteile, bessere aktienentwicklung etc. aber wie wir aus den usa wissen können sich diese dinge schnell ändern....denke das wir in den usa nachdem die scherben zusammengefegt worden sind ähnliche größenordnungen sehen werden.



IN BRITAIN'S overheated property market, the only things hotter than the prices of the houses for sale are the firms that build them. On March 26th Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey agreed upon a £5 billion ($9.8 billion) merger to create the country's largest housebuilder.

The financial logic of the deal seems hard to fault. Last year the two firms built about 22,000 homes in Britain, a tenth of all completions. Together they will be able to trim costs by more than £70m a year and they will be in a stronger position in America, where they have operations in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas

this is from bloomberg http://tinyurl.com/3e2935

....a slumping U.S. property market, which accounts for about one-third of their sales


>wow. look at the performance compared to toll brothers (us builder)

>obwohl ein drittel aus den usa kommt kein vergleich zu einem us builder wie toll


The merger may be the biggest of its kind but it is not the first, as a wave of consolidation sweeps through the industry. Of the country's ten biggest builders in 2002, only six remain. The rest have been taken over by the three largest firms. Four years ago the top three firms controlled about 20% of the market; now they have around 30%.

>here is some us data:

The U.S. home-building industry still includes some 80,000 companies, most of them tiny local outfits, but it is changing dramatically. Five years ago, the top 10 home builders controlled only about 10% of the U.S. market. Now their share is about 25%, and the big builders predict it will top 50% within a decade

The upheaval is transforming an industry that Kate Barker, a member of the Bank of England's monetary-policy committee, heavily criticised in 2004. Ms Barker was investigating why the supply of new houses had responded so sluggishly to the house-price boom, with completions actually falling to a low of about 175,000 in 2001, although they have since staged a recovery (see chart). One reason she highlighted was a fragmented and inefficient industry, whose firms competed not for customers by offering better homes or building them more cheaply but for that scarce British commodity, land with permission to develop. Local firms dominated their regions because they often stood a better chance of gaming the planning system than their national rivals. Quality often suffered because demand was so great that builders could sell all but the shoddiest of homes.

this comes from ireland. could also be made from a frustrated uk citizen.....

größer/ bigger http://tinyurl.com/3ch7ys
thanks to "open window" http://tinyurl.com/yvw8fd

Two things have since changed. First, publicly quoted builders now look vulnerable to takeovers from rivals or private-equity firms because rising house prices have pushed up the value of their land faster than their share prices. This is partly because they value land on their books at its historic purchase price, rather than its current price. So it has often been cheaper to get land by pouncing on a rival than by buying it on the open market, says Kate Moy, an analyst at Teather & Greenwood, a stockbroker.

The second change is that Britain may soon weaken longstanding rules that have preserved “green belts” around towns and cities. Another report by the energetic Ms Barker, released in December, argued that farms and parks will have to be concreted over to provide living space for an extra 209,000 new households each year over the next two decades. One consequence is that firms may soon be able to buy land in suburb-sized chunks.


The potential change has sparked a flurry of interest in land adjoining towns and cities that may be reclassified. That seems to be shifting the balance of power from local builders to large firms with enough capital to buy rights to huge tracts of land. A sign of the shift, says Peter Damesick, head of research at CB Richard Ellis, is that even institutional investors with little previous experience are now getting into the game of speculating on town-edge land.

With interest in land running high the merger between George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow is unlikely to be the last, if indeed it proceeds. Other builders and private-equity firms are running their slide-rules over the two companies, whose shares have gained on optimism that a counterbid may emerge. And several smaller housebuilders are also expected to fall to bids soon. Given the industry's generally shoddy customer service, few of them will be missed.

disclosure: short a basket of us homebuilder

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